When I search for industrial companies to cold call and offer our services at NGAGE, my first go-to is the company’s website to see the type of content available, what the brand looks like and the tone of the brand. I search for any editorials written about the company, adverts placed and, more recently, I look at their social media pages for any obvious areas that we could help them improve in their marketing & communication efforts.
I’ve been shocked at how many companies, I assume, have realized that they have to be on social media, so they set up pages on ALL of the main platforms (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and sometimes, even Instagram), proudly display links to those pages on the homepage of their website and email signatures (or sometimes just icons and not links), and then forget to actually update or manage those pages!
Why advertise so prominently that you are ‘on social media’, and then leave those pages to become old, dusty and unmanaged? In other examples, these potential clients give the management of their pages to someone internally, who has no knowledge of how to target properly, and just merely posts random content regularly – without anyone actually seeing it! Those pages often have a handful of followers and are riddled with spelling mistakes.
You wouldn’t give your PA or admin personnel the job of looking after your IT or Accounting without proper training, would you? So why give an untrained person the very public job of managing your social media presence and in essence, the reputation of your brand?
When we launched our social media department at NGAGE nearly six years ago, we had to give the service away for free to an industrial brand, which was lucky enough to have a forward thinking marketing manager that believed that we could make the world of social media relevant to industry. We convinced them to let us launch them on social media at no cost, to prove to them that it would work. It did!
Back then, when we brought up social media in new business meetings, management laughed at us and told us that they aren’t targeting school girls! Just a few years later, it became the first thing that came up in new business meetings with industrial brands. Companies have realized that it’s no longer a question of ‘if’ they should be on social media, but rather, how do they do it properly?
Social Media Management is about crafting a message that relates to the audience you are targeting – to educate or inform them about your product / industry, and then targeting that message to make sure that it reaches the defined audience. It’s about building a social media community – people who are interested in your product or service and driving leads from social media. If you have very low engagement on your pages, either the content you are posting isn’t interesting or engaging, you have targeted the incorrect audience, or you aren’t putting enough budget behind the message.
Unfortunately, organic reach on Facebook is dead. If you don’t boost a post, it will only be shown to 10% of your community. Most people are putting effort into setting up pages and creating content, and then no one is seeing it.
My advice? If you can afford it, hire an agency to properly manage your social media presence. If you already have a PR agency, that’s who should be running your social media pages. It makes no sense to recreate new content for social, when PR content could be repurposed for your social media pages. Don’t forget to repurpose the content in a ‘social’ way so that it’s quick and easy to read.
It’s also very important that you have one voice, and that the message reflected in the media or in your newsletter is similar to what is being posted on social. The tone and voice needs to be the same, so that you don’t confuse the market.
1) Put a plan on paper
Firstly, write down a plan on why you want to be on social media, and who you want to target with which message. Have a look at social media pages of other companies in your industry to get an idea of who is doing what, and how you could do even better. Looking at international companies is often a good idea, as they are often ahead of us.
2) Don’t take on more than you can handle
Don’t put yourself on every platform if you don’t have the resources to manage 5 pages. Chat to your customers and industry peers to gauge which platform they are on most, and start with that platform.
3) Dedicate time for social media
Don’t delegate the management of your social media presence to a junior employee. If you can’t manage it yourself, I would suggest tasking it to a manager who has a general interest in social media, and then up-skill that employee (there are hundreds of online social media courses available).
4) Set a social media budget and deliverables
Don’t just expect organic growth on the pages. Based on your action plan of who you want to target with what message, allocate a monthly budget to page growth and boosting posts on social media. Redefine your audience every month, to make sure that you are reaching the right people, and go through the results of the campaign to make sure that you are achieving what you set out to do.
I hope that this helps in some way. For any questions / comments or if you would like us to do a free online audit for your company, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.